Exporting Indian Tea: Top Importers, Tea Board Membership & More in 2024

Aspiring Indian tea exporter? This comprehensive guide explores top importers, Tea Board membership benefits, fees, validity, and everything you need to brew international success.

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Introduction of Indian Tea Exports

India, where tea flows through the veins of tradition, stands tall as a beacon in the global tea trade. If you’re eyeing the lucrative realm of exporting Indian tea, this blog guides you through the labyrinth of opportunities. We’ll unveil the top fans of Indian tea, unravel the pivotal role of the Tea Board, and address key queries regarding membership fees and validity.

The Tea Board: Your Ally in Global Tea Trade

Established in 1953, the Tea Board of India stands tall as the guardian of the nation’s illustrious tea industry. For tea producers, processors, and exporters, membership in this esteemed organization unlocks a plethora of opportunities. Let’s dive into the intricacies of Tea Board membership, shedding light on fees, validity, and the myriad advantages it bestows upon its members. Embracing Tea Board membership opens doors to a realm of advantages:

  • Market Access and Promotion: Seamlessly navigate international trade avenues through participation in trade fairs and buyer-seller meets organized by the Tea Board.
  • Technical Assistance and Training: Equip yourself with invaluable insights through workshops, seminars, and expert guidance on tea production, processing, and marketing.
  • Quality Certification: Enhance the credibility and marketability of your tea with the Tea Board’s certification schemes.
  • Networking Opportunities: Forge meaningful connections with fellow tea industry peers, fostering collaborations and knowledge exchange.
  • Policy Advocacy: Have your voice heard as the Tea Board champions the tea industry’s interests before the government, influencing policies in favor of its members.

Tea Board Membership: Fees and Validity Explained

The Tea Board offers various membership categories, each with its own fee structure and validity period:

  • Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC): Essential for tea exporters, this certificate incurs a one-time fee and typically holds validity for five years, in line with the Exporter’s License or the prevailing Foreign Trade Policy.
  • Tea Factory Registration: Tailored for tea manufacturers (excluding instant tea), the fees vary based on the factory’s size, with a validity period of five years.
  • Mini Tea Factory Registration: Designed for smaller tea factories, this option entails a one-time fee and boasts lifetime validity.
  • Flavour Registration: For registering distinct tea flavours, a one-time fee covers three flavours, with additional ones incurring a nominal increment. This registration offers lifetime validity.

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Top Importers Savoring Indian Tea

Indian tea, with its symphony of flavors, captivates palates worldwide. Here are some of its most fervent admirers:

  • Russia: Leading the pack as the largest importer, with an insatiable appetite for robust CTC black tea.
  • United Arab Emirates: Serving as a pivotal re-export hub, ferrying Indian tea to various corners of the Middle East.
  • United States: Emerging as a burgeoning market for specialty and flavored teas, embracing India’s diverse tea offerings.
  • Germany: Indulging in the bold flavors of Indian black tea, while also showing a growing fondness for green and orthodox varieties.
  • United Kingdom: A longstanding affair with Indian black teas continues, as the UK savors the timeless charm of classic blends.

Understanding the nuances of these prime markets empowers you to craft a tailored export strategy that leaves an indelible mark.

FAQs on Tea Export from India

Q: Do I need a license to export tea from India?

Ans: Yes, you’ll need an Exporter’s License issued by the Government of India. Additionally, if you plan to export loose tea or tea bags, you’ll need a Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) from the Tea Board of India.

Q: What are the steps involved in exporting tea?

Ans: The general process involves:
1. Obtaining necessary licenses (Exporter’s License and RCMC, if applicable)
2. Sourcing high-quality tea
3. Packing and labeling according to international standards
4. Finding international buyers
5. Arranging customs clearance and logistics

Q: Where can I find resources to help me start exporting tea?

Ans: The Tea Board of India website https://teaboard.gov.in/ offers valuable information and resources for exporters. You can also consult government export promotion agencies and industry associations.

Q: How do I apply for Tea Board membership?

Ans: Access application forms and comprehensive details on membership categories and fees on the Tea Board’s website at https://www.teaboard.gov.in/.

Q: What documents are required for Tea Board membership?

Ans: Document requirements vary based on your chosen membership category. Refer to the Tea Board website for specific guidelines.

Q: Is Tea Board membership mandatory for all tea businesses?

Ans: While mandatory for tea exporters require an RCMC certificate, other categories like tea factory registration are optional yet immensely beneficial.

Q: What are the different types of Tea Board memberships?

Ans: The Tea Board offers various memberships, each with its fee structure and validity. Common categories include:
1. Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) – For exporters
2. Tea Factory Registration – For manufacturers (excluding instant tea)
3. Mini Tea Factory Registration – For smaller factories
4. Flavour Registration – For registering specific tea flavours

Q: What are the benefits of Tea Board membership?

Ans: Membership grants access to a range of benefits, including:
1. Market access and promotion support
2. Technical assistance and training
3. Quality certification schemes
4. Networking opportunities
5. Policy advocacy

Q: Which countries are the top importers of Indian tea?

Ans: Major importers include Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Q: What are some factors to consider when choosing an export market?

Ans: Factors to consider include consumer preferences, import regulations, market competition, and ease of doing business.

Q: What are the quality standards for exporting Indian tea?

Ans: Indian tea must comply with international food safety standards and any specific requirements of the target market. The Tea Board offers certification schemes to ensure quality.

Q: How can I find reliable international buyers for my tea?

Ans: The Tea Board can assist with market research and trade fairs. Additionally, online platforms and industry events can connect you with potential buyers.


Venturing into the world of Indian tea exports isn’t merely about business; it’s about enriching a heritage. By partnering with the Tea Board, you gain access to a treasure trove of knowledge, resources, and connections, essential for navigating the global tea market with finesse. So, don your entrepreneurial cap, steep yourself in the legacy of Indian tea, and brew a potful of success on the international stage!

Tea Board membership serves as a strategic investment for your tea enterprise. By harnessing the manifold benefits it offers, you can carve a distinct niche, expand your horizons, and contribute to the enduring success of India’s esteemed tea industry. Cheers to a steaming cup of opportunity!

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